Small hive beetle (SHB – Aethina tumida) is a pest of honey bee colonies alien to the European Union. It can cause significant damage to the beehive from destruction of combs to fermentation of honey and colony loss.

On 11 September 2014 the National Reference Centre for Beekeeping of the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie confirmed the first detection of small hive bee in a bait trap in the town of Gioia Tauro, in the province of Reggio Calabria. On 7 November, 2014, the national reference centre for beekeeping reported the first case of Aethina tumida in the province of Siracusa in Sicily.

On 20 June 2019, 5 years after the first and only report of the presence of Aehtina tumida in Sicily region, an apiary was found infested in the municipality of Lentini, in the province of Siracusa. The epidemiological investigation carried out by the Veterinary Services after the detection of the new outbreak identified its origin in an unauthorized movement of beehives from Calabria to Sicily. The same control and surveillance measures already applied previously were therefore adopted and a protection area of 5 km radius around the outbreak was established, always with the support of sentinel honey bee nuclei.

The clinical inspection carried out since June 2019 in the apiaries and sentinel nuclei present in both the protection and surveillance areas have not led to the detection of new outbreaks of infestation. Based on the favorable epidemiological situation, in February 2020 the Veterinary Service of the Sicily region ordered the withdrawal of the protection zone established in the Lentini outbreak. The territory of the Sicily region remains subject to surveillance for Aethina tumida according to the national plan.

As part of the measures adopted in order to limit the spread of Aethina tumida, the Implementing Decision 2019/1399/EU of 10 September 2019 established the closure of the Calabria and Sicily regions with respect to the rest of the EU territory.

Complete, more updated information on the epidemiological situation of small hive beetle in Italy, in addition to ministerial statements and further useful material on the problem, can be found below

Epidemiological situation

2020201920182017201620152014

2020

Current epidemiological situation

  • Table 1: positive sentinel honey bee nuclei
  • Figure 1: Calabria region protection zone (30 km radius)
  • Figure 2: protection zone (area of 10 km radius) from the first Aethina tumida infested apiary in the province of Cosenza, Calabria region)
  • Figure 3: surveillance for Aethina tumida carried out in Calabria and Sicily regions
  • Figure 4: details of Aethina tumida surveillance in Sicily region

2019

Final epidemiological situation

  • Table 1: confirmed cases of Aethina tumida in Calabria and Sicily
  • Table 2: positive sentinel honey bee nuclei
  • Figure 1: Calabria protection area (30 km radius)
  • Figure 2: protection zone (area of 10 km radius from the first Aethina tumida infested apiary in the province of Cosenza, Calabria region)
  • Figure 3: Sicily protection area (5 km radius)
  • Figure 4: surveillance activity against Aethina tumida carried out in Calabria and Sicily regions

EU Regulation

  • Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2019/1399 of 10 September 2019 amending Implementing Decision 2014/909/EU as regards the list of areas subject to protective measures in relation to small hive beetle in Italy | PDF

2018

Final epidemiological situation

  • Table 1: confirmed cases of Aethina tumida in Calabria and Sicily
  • Table 2: positive sentinel honey bee nuclei
  • Figure 1: Calabria protection area (30 km radius)
  • Figure 2: protection zone (area of 10 km radius from the first Aethina tumida infested apiary in the province of Cosenza, Calabria region)
  • Figure 3: Sicily protection area (10 km radius)
  • Figure 4: surveillance activity against Aethina tumida carried out in Calabria and Sicily regions

2017

Final epidemiological situation

  • Table 1: confirmed cases of Aethina tumida in Calabria and Sicily
  • Table 2: positive sentinel honey bee nuclei
  • Figure 1: Calabria protection area (30 km radius)
  • Figure 2: protection zone (area of 10 km radius from the first Aethina tumida infested apiary in the province of Cosenza, Calabria region)
  • Figure 3: Sicily protection area (10 km radius)
  • Figure 4: surveillance activity against Aethina tumida carried out in Calabria and Sicily regions

EU Regulation

  • Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/2174 of 20 November 2017 amending Annex E to Council Directive 92/65/EEC as regards the health certificate for trade in bees and bumble bees | PDF
  • Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/370 of 1 March 2017 amending Commission Implementing Decision 2014/909/EU by extending the period of application of certain protective measures and amending the list of areas subject to protective measures in relation to small hive beetle in Italy | PDF

2016

Final epidemiological situation

  • Table 1: confirmed cases of Aethina tumida in Calabria and Sicily
  • Table 2: positive sentinel honey bee nuclei
  • Figure 1: Calabria protection area (20 km radius)
  • Figure 2: protection zone (area of 10 km radius from the first Aethina tumida infested apiary in the province of Cosenza, Calabria region)
  • Figure 3: area of 1 km radius from the first Aethina tumida infested apiary in the province of Cosenza, Calabria region
  • Figure 4: Sicily protection area (10 km radius)
  • Figure 5: area of 100 km radius from the first Aethina tumida infested apiary in the province of Cosenza, Calabria region

2015

Final epidemiological situation

  • Table 1: confirmed cases of Aethina tumida in Calabria e Sicily
  • Table 2: positive sentinel honey bee nuclei
  • Figure 1: Calabria protection area (20 km radius)
  • Figure 2: Sicily protection area (20 km radius)
  • Figure 3: Calabria and Sicily monitoring area (100 km radius)

EU Regulation

  • Commission implementing decision (EU) 2015/1943 of 27 October 2015 amending Implementing Decision 2014/909/EU by extending the period of application of the protective measures in relation to the small hive beetle in Italy | PDF
  • Commission implementing decision (EU) 2015/838 of 28 May 2015 amending Implementing Decision 2014/909/EU by extending the period of application of the protection measures in relation to the small hive beetle in Italy | PDF

2014

Final epidemiological situation

  • Table 1: confirmed cases of Aethina tumida in Calabria e Sicily
  • Figure 1: Calabria protection area (20 km radius)
  • Figure 2: Sicily protection area (20 km radius)
  • Figure 3: Calabria and Sicily monitoring area (100 km radius)

Documentation

  • EURL – Guidance document for the management of the small hive beetle Aethina tumida infestation in soil – First version (April 2019) | PDF
  • Techincal sheet on Small hive beetle – Aethina tumida | PDF
  • EURL – Guidelines for the surveillance of the small hive beetle Aethina tumida infestation | PDF
  • DEFRA – The small hive beetle a serious threat to European apiculture | PDF
  • ANSES – Identification of the small hive beetle Aethina tumida, morphological examination (OIE method) | PDF
  • EFSA – Small hive beetle diagnosis and risk management options | PDF
  • EFSA – Survival, spread and establishment of the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) | PDF

Presentation

  • Small hive beetle in Italy – PAFF Committee (Brussels, 16 May 2017) | PDF
  • Small hive beetle in Italy – NRLs Workshop (Sophia Antipolis, 4 October 2016) | PDF
  • Small hive beetle in Italy – PAFF Committee (Brussels, 13 September 2016) | PDF
  • Small hive beetle in Italy: update and surveillance program (May 2016) | PDF
  • Small hive beetle in Italy (February 2016) | PDF
  • Small hive beetle in Italy – PAFF Committee (Brussels, 7-8 October 2015) | PDF
  • Investigation on the occurrence of Coleoptera on rotten fruits in Reggio Calabria province (January 2015) | PDF

Video

  • Video on hive inspection made by the IZSVe | View >
  • Video shot in Sud Africa by dr. Per Kryger (Aarhus University, Denmark) | View >